Sharing the Road

Filed under:General — eric @ 4:19 am

An article about the stressed relationship between drivers and bikers in Boston, passed on to me by a woman who says she feels less safe on the roads in Athens than she ever did in Boston. I’ve never ridden in Boston, but I have been hit by several inattentive drivers here. None of the incidents involved fist fights or injury, I’m happy to say.


  1. I have ridden in Newark, De where I have been cut off numerous times even when I had right of way by cars and pedestrians. If a car is coming at you at 30 mph with no signs of stopping, then it is very scary situation. Unfortunately, I tend to express my fear by yelling at the driver. :(

    If i would have hit a pedstrian, then I would have been unhappy, butI could have killed one pretty easily. I was riding a recumbent where the chainrings are out in front of the bike. Anyone that was hit by me (could do 20+ mph in the flats) could have a chainring imbedded into their thighs or torso depending on their height. So, it was seriour ijury or death to that pedestrian if I didn’t see them in time.

    But, there was an incident in De where someone was riding near the university and was run over by a semi on Main Street - the driver didn’t even notice. And, I saw a driver in the bike lane exceeding the speed limit in a rain storm. This was just after I left that lane to turn onto my street.

    So, I actually feel safer riding in Socorro than anywhere in Newark (Home of the Univeristy of Delaware).

    What I don’t understand is people not looking out for either other cars, bikes, or pedestrians. If a car is coming towrds me when I am on a bike, then I will pay a great deal of attention to them because in a argument between a biker and a driver, the biker will lose. Between a walker and a biker, there might be more leeway, but the walker will likely be very sorry.

    So, even if the car scares you, getting into an argument with a road user which has 2000 lbs of steel around them is not very smart. And, bike messengers are notorious for breaking traffic laws and being obnoxious. So, I kinda think the person in the story is lucky to be alive since he instigated some of the reactions.

    Comment by satan — 1/28/2002 @ 9:36 am

  2. Woo hoo! A topic I can contribute to! Just yesterday read this article (http://biketraffic.org/biketraffic/BT0102/) about a case in Chicago where a cyclist was run over and killed. It surprises me that Boston and Athens would have such bad CARma…I get yelled or honked at occasionally by idiots, but in 9 years of bike commuting about 75% of the year, I’ve never been hit (and only one or two close calls that I can think of)…but then again, since I recently learned that Socorro is #47 and Madison #56 in cities with highest percentage of bike commuters, maybe those cities are safer due to high visibility (Athens and Boston do not appear on the top 100 list, surprisingly to me). I think, in most cases, that BOTH cyclists and motorists need a world of education about how to interact on the roads…I’m sure that often the bozo that honks at me riding lawfully and safely probably just passed three guys who ran a stop sign while riding against traffic (is that possible? anyway, you get the idea). As much as it makes me mad that motorists aren’t more aware, I do think that bikes just have to watch out for themselves.

    Comment by M — 1/29/2002 @ 7:52 am

  3. Oh yeah…there was also this web journal a few months ago by a bike courier in Boston…http://slate.msn.com/?id=2058945&entry=2058947

    Comment by M — 1/29/2002 @ 8:07 am

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